Strained Friendships and Tough Conversations

Anonymous asked:

hi.. i feel embarrassed for asking this but here goes. one of my very best friends got married recently, but surprised me when i wasn’t included in any part of the wedding/planning, while some close mutual friends were w/o me knowing beforehand. i realize no one is obligated to invite me to be a part of anything…but fact is, bc we are so close, it caught me off guard and i’ve been hurt/confused about our relationship since. i feel very selfish. is it a bad idea to ask about it now? how do i?

I answered:

There’s nothing to be embarrassed about here. Everybody has these kind of insecurities and thoughts that pop up, especially when that part of them gets poked at. You shouldn’t judge yourself for having a gut emotional reaction to something, even if it seems a little silly.

The key is to be able to separate out that emotion and look at the situation for what it is before you move forward. Maybe the friends she asked to help her had some experience planning weddings/events, or are just geographically closer. There may be a reasonable explanation.

A neutral third party who knows the situation a little better can be a great help. You should’t gossip about the situation. You shouldn’t try to build a case for why your feelings are right, but it can help to just lay out the cold facts of the situation to someone and ask “am I making something out of nothing here?”

It may not help to bring up the wedding situation specifically, because there is nothing you can do about that. It seems that your real concern is that your friendship may be losing some of the closeness it had before. That you can do something about. You can be the one who picks up the phone and starts the ball rolling on scheduling some time to grab coffee and catch up. 

You may find that addressing that underlying insecurity makes you a lot less concerned about a single incident in the past. If you do feel the need to bring it up, actually ask, don’t assume your friend’s thoughts or motivations. Just ask the question “This seemed weird to me, and I’m sure it’s nothing, but why X?”

It doesn’t do us any good to just hold things that bother us inside. That is why Paul instructs “don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” That little seed of hurt can warp a whole relationship. It is important to get it out, but you may not necessarily have to have a full blown confrontation. 

The wisdom to know what to let go and what to take head on is important. Go to God for it and it always helps to enlist the help of someone you trust.

 

-Matt from The Bridge

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